I don’t usually post two days in a row, but yesterday’s disgusting displays of indecency by Republican senators at the Ketanji Brown Jackson confirmation hearings merits another slap at the evil that infects the souls of the GOP.
I don’t want to go into the specifics. It gives too much notoriety to wicked people to describe their wickedness. But if you saw any of the demeaning and insulting harangues that the likes of Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, and their ilk subjected the public to on the second day of “questioning” Judge Jackson, you know the vile behavior I’m referring to.
Why people would behave like boors in public and expect to get away with it mystifies me. The boorish part I get. Some people are just a**holes. But it doesn’t make sense to me that they expect to get away with it and not be called on it.
Maybe they think that the exalted superiority of their “conservative beliefs” gives them the right to be rude, pugnacious, insulting, dismissive, accusatory, vulgar, inflammatory, and even violent.
They would be wrong about that even if their “beliefs” were worth something. But “conservative beliefs” are not worth a thimble of warm spit. Their so-called ideology amounts to nothing more than a grab-bag of knee-jerk attitudes that try to keep the status quo where it advantages them.
That is why “conservatives” are stuck in the past. That is why they can barely tolerate any sort of change. The slightest alteration in the state of affairs threatens their current advantage, which they cannot imagine giving up.
But this fear of change is the single most idiotic element in “conservatism.” Even if some “conservative” notions have a speck of truth in them (there may be some, but it’s difficult to think of them on the spur of the moment), the obsession with maintaining the status quo vitiates all of them.
Why? Because it doesn’t take a Stephen Hawking to see that there is far more change in the world than stasis. I’m sure that some scientists would say there is no stasis in the world and that what seems like stasis is just the averaging out of large numbers of changing motions.
But even if there is some stasis, it is far less prevalent than change. So the “conservative” insistence on maintaining the status quo just because it gives them a temporary advantage is actually a death wish. The world will change around them while they stand still trying to hold on to their temporary advantage. And sooner or later, change will take it away from them. And then kill them to boot.
So “conservatism” is profoundly stupid and self-defeating. “Conservatives” should praise liberals for lighting the way through the darkness with their superior agility and intelligence in the handling the inevitability of change.
But instead we are treated to Republicans throwing up bile all over themselves and everyone else. Why?
Yesterday, pundits were opining that it was just political pandering. We had to listen to ridiculous claims about Judge Jackson and child pornography, criminal-coddling, critical race theory, and whatever else emerged from the fever swamp of “conservative” fearfulness because all the GOP senators are pandering to their ignorant base in advance of the November elections.
But that explanation doesn’t go the roots of twisted Republican psychology.
The reason that Republicans obsess about their victimhood, about how liberals have mistreated them, and about how most people disdain them is because they desperately need justification for the meanness, cheating, stealing, and violence they want to inflict on others. Let me explain.
If power is your main goal, ethics will never be an issue with you. This is the Republican mindset in a nutshell: screw anyone who seems to be in your way.
The question has always been, How can you go around screwing people without suffering the consequences?
For a long time, Republicans used the “dog-whistle” strategy. They used to couch their selfishness and anti-social tendencies in artfully disguised speech, so that they could transmit, say, a racist message to other “conservatives” while maintaining that the actual words were not racist at all. Everyone knew what they were up to, but they flew under the radar because they could not be directly attacked for their speech.
Then came Newt Gingrich, who changed the whole game. Newt taught “conservatives” that they didn’t have to be as careful about what they said anymore as long as they accompanied their outrageous speech with nasty attacks on liberals. For thirty years now, “conservatives” have been honing that strategy. What we see in the Jackson hearings is the fruit of Gingrich’s evil.
“Conservatives” actually believe that they can justify any wickedness by claiming that liberals are monsters. They can viciously berate perfectly decent nominees for the Supreme Court, for instance, because liberals have been mean to them and laugh at them and don’t take them seriously. This gambit is another of the childish games that populate the grab-bag of “conservative ideology”: “They are bad to us, so we get to be bad to them.”
I guess they never heard that two wrongs don’t make a right. That’s probably too compassionate and ethical a thought for their nasty brand of “Christianity” to understand.
Republicans accuse others of victimizing them in the hope that people will accept their victimhood as an excuse for the vicious acts they fully intend to carry out in furtherance of their selfish, power-hungry desires. Just look at the January 6 insurrection as an example. The Trumpists still think that their fantasies of liberal election-stealing will get them off the hook for ransacking Congress, beating people up, and even killing people.
So when you see the repellant Republicans foaming at the mouth with righteous indignation, get ready for some real wickedness to come from them. Because the only reason they strike the pose of grievance is to justify an act of injustice that they are only too willing to commit.
Hit the nail on the head as usual. There's a reason for the term progressive being hated by repugs. It contails progress, one of the things they can't handle. Give me that old 16th century logic is their mantra and life blood